Date of Award

Spring 1993

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Urban Services - Management

Committee Director

Leonard Ruchelman

Committee Member

David P. Aday


The future of the arts in Virginia depends on knowing how arts agencies are functioning and surviving at a time of resource decline. What roles do managers play in administering agencies? What business and management skills do managers use to maintain an agency and to relate to the community? How do managers handle cutbacks? Does entrepreneurship create more viable arts agencies?

Bivariate data analysis separated managers into four role groups: entrepreneur, administrator, artist, and caretaker, according to their perceived degree of programmatic creativity and documented access to organizational resources. Managerial role types were compared with management behaviors to discern significant differences. Data revealed that the entrepreneur is mostly found in visual arts agencies, is highly creative and attentive to business matters, and tends to work alone. The administrator is generally found in large music and theatrical agencies, manages a highly complex organization with a large staff, budget, and board; this type does not emphasize creativity. The artist, predictably the most highly creative, lacks sufficient managerial skills to maintain a stable organization, and is largely located in smaller music, theatre or dance agencies. The caretaker, found in every type of agency, lacks creative purpose and resources, and is in constant peril of merger or termination.

All role types employ the same basic cutback strategies, but vary in their positive attempts to increase revenues and audiences according to role type and agency type. In light of external pressures, the entrepreneur is not distinguished from other role types in demonstrating greater agency viability.